Juba, South Sudan, 7 May 2014 – The European Commission, through its Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection department (ECHO), has announced a contribution of €4.5 million to UNICEF in a bid to scale up the emergency response in South Sudan.
With over a million people – more than half of them children – displaced by the conflict that broke out in December last year, children and women are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance in the world’s youngest nation. The situation will deteriorate further when the imminent rainy season arrives, as it will cause flooding that will increase the risk of water borne epidemic diseases and will cut-off many areas from receiving urgently needed humanitarian assistance.
“We welcome this contribution from ECHO, which comes as we are in a race against time to respond to the needs of children, the most vulnerable in such situations,” said UNICEF South Sudan Representative Mr Jonathan Veitch when the contribution was announced. “As it is, we estimate that nearly a quarter of a million children will suffer from severe acute malnutrition this year. If we cannot reach them with appropriate assistance, up to 50,000 of those children will die. This generous contribution from ECHO will help us to reach them and to save lives,” he added.
The contribution of €4.5 million will support UNICEF in its emergency response in South Sudan, ensuring timely availability of water and sanitation supplies, supporting measles vaccinations, provision of therapeutic nutrition supplements for malnourished children, provision of child-friendly spaces and psycho-social support for children affected by the crisis as well as for strengthening UNICEF’s cluster coordination in WASH and nutrition sectors.
"The European Union is stepping up its efforts to prevent South Sudan becoming one of the biggest protracted humanitarian crises of our time. The EU has so far contributed more than €130 million in humanitarian aid in 2014, out of which the European Commission alone provided €50 million through ECHO. We are now ready to boost our life-saving assistance by an additional €4.5 million to the benefit of vulnerable people affected by the crisis in South Sudan and to address the urgent needs of South Sudanese refugees in neighbouring countries. One of our main partners in the response to the crisis is UNICEF who cares in particular for the most vulnerable of all – children, and I am happy we can increase our support to UNICEF and its dedicated staff to address the plight of the people", said Jean-Louis De Brouwer, ECHO Director Operations.
Since 1992 ECHO has partnered with UNICEF to reach emergency affected populations with much needed aid. During the course of 2012 and 2013, UNICEF in South Sudan received €5 million from ECHO which together with funds from other donors was used to reach over 900,000 people affected by emergencies.
“UNICEF South Sudan has had a long and effective relationship with ECHO and this generous contribution is a valuable component in our continued partnership to reach the most vulnerable children who are affected by crises,” added Veitch.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF South Sudan and its work visit: http://www.unicef.org/southsudan
About the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO)
The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) funds relief operations for victims of natural disasters and conflicts outside the European Union. Aid is channeled impartially, straight to victims, regardless of their race, ethnic group, religion, gender, age, nationality or political affiliation. ECHO is among UNICEF’s largest humanitarian donors.
For more information, please contact:
Doune Porter, Chief, Strategic Communication, UNICEF South Sudan Tel: +211 (0)952 819 302 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mercy Kolok, Communication Officer, UNICEF South Sudan Tel: + 211 (0) 955639658 Email: email@example.com